Mental Health Foundation says the expansion of work to prevent children falling through gaps in mental health support is very welcome

Expansion of work to prevent children falling through gaps in support for their mental health is important and welcome, the Mental Health Foundation says today.

The charity is responding to an announcement by the Department for Education about its roll-out of a mental health training programme to cover one staff member in every school and college in England.

The aim of the training is to improve schools’ and colleges’ links with NHS mental health services, raise staff awareness of mental health problems and help children and young people get referred to specialist help.

“We welcome this expansion of mental health training for school staff because it is incredibly important to have joined-up support for children and young people’s mental health,” said Jane Caro, the Foundation’s Programme Lead for Families, Children and Young People.

“It can be very difficult for children and young people who are struggling, because things have to be quite serious before the NHS will help them. When vulnerable young people fall through gaps in support, it can lead to their mental health problems getting much worse.”

She added that the expanded mental health training programme for staff complements the Mental Health Foundation’s own Peer Education Programme (PEP), which this year will reach more than 20,000 school pupils.

PEP trains older pupils to teach younger peers about looking after their mental health. “We have found that young people often find it easier to hear messages about mental health from their peers rather than adults,” added Ms Caro.

ENDS

For more information, please contact Rachel Baird on 07969 314 117 or email [email protected]